Book Review – Elf Defence by Lisa Henry and Sarah Honey

Adventures in Aguillon #2
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 181
Characters: Calarian/Benji/Lars
POV: 3rd
Genre: Fantasy, Series

Royal envoys Calarian and Benji embark on a quest in the alpine duchy of Tournel. Things go rapidly downhill when the duke plummets to his death from the tower wall. Whoops—that’s going to be hard to explain. And it’s not as though they can just grab the nearest human and make him the new duke.

Or can they?

Enter one Lars Melker, a slightly gullible cowherd built entirely of muscles and sunshine, who happily accepts their word when they tell him he’s the duke now.

Soon Calarian and Benji are knee deep in teaching Lars how to fake it until he makes it. They’re also dealing with mountain trolls, a monster, a missing cow, and, most shocking of all, a growing realisation that their elves-with-benefits arrangement might be turning into something with feelings.

Add in their mutual attraction to Lars, and suddenly the hills are alive with the sound of emotionally compromised collectivist anarchist elves.

Also, what’s the deal with those leather shorts?

Buy Link


This is a very enjoyable and more than slightly crazy story. I spent most of it laughing, rolling my eyes, and thinking, seriously what the? It’s delightfully tongue in cheek, and although I haven’t read the first book in series, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this one.

The world building is fabulous. I loved the details like elves playing Houses and Humans and the Human Heraldry and Peerage Handbook. It all adds to the fun.

Calarian and Benji are very different characters, and I had to roll my eyes with Benji wanting to take everything down from the inside. So much denial, especially in regard to him and Calarian only being elves with benefits, and their mutual attraction to Lars. I liked how Lars taught them about love, and isn’t the innocent they think he is.

The supporting cast is great, and I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of Gretchen. The Sound of Music references were hilarious, and fitted in disturbingly well. I liked Dave, and am very happy he’s getting his own book.

4 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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